Bob- what’s up with the flood of blog posts? The answer: I am attending the BlogathonATX – 12 hours of workshops, positive Mojo and yes- blogging. Bobism’s? Mark Becker, a long-term client and friend, invented the term many years ago to title key concepts I use to advise and guide my clientele. So without further ado… enjoy the flood of Bobisms!
As leaders, we falsely believe that being “right” is central to our effectiveness. After all, we’re paid to have the answers. Our business cards ooze with authority and cool titles that almost demand that we take charge. And so we do. We take charge. We zero in on what’s right and wrong. But is leadership truly about right and wrong, or is it more about being highly effective? And does peak effectiveness require us to be right? I am rather sure it doesn’t. We do not live in a black and white world. In fact, it’s been my experience that when a leader thinks only in terms of black and white, they tend to divide versus unite, diminish versus build.
The question to always ask is not whether something is right or wrong, but rather- what would be the most effective solution, without sacrificing your values or ethics? Doing the most effective thing is comparable to taking the higher road, the road less travelled, as poetically described by Robert Frost.
Being effective is about taking the Big Picture into account, determining what will make the most sense over the long haul while leaving all parties involved whole, still passionately engaged. A good employee will always have flaws, just as you will always have shortcomings. The key, when those blind spots get in the way (yours or theirs), is to find the common, most effective ground from which to build solutions upon. Constantly focusing on someone’s shortcomings, however, even if you’re “right”, will only demoralize them, causing resentments and passive aggression.
A nuanced version of the “right vs effective” challenge, relates to delegation and empowering your work force. It’s very easy to keep a tight grip on key projects that could otherwise be effectively delegated, simply because you- as the CEO or senior executive, know you could do it better. Are you “right”? Perhaps you are 100% right, but that doesn’t mean that holding on is the effective thing to do, for many reasons on many levels. If you are to grow as a leader and as an organization, people need to have the room to do things their own way; they need to be able to make mistakes and thus learn from those mistakes. Deny them that ability and you deny them of their right to grow, learn and thrive. The leader that let’s his or her people fall within the context of a safe and well managed work environment, is the leader that build fierce loyalty and trust.
There are certainly instances where a clear sense of right and wrong is called for, depending upon the situation. I am not disputing that truth. However, it will be your ability discern between the two, between when a situation calls for a judgement versus common ground, that will determine whether you become a wise, people building leader- or a perfectionist that constantly breaks people down. The choice is yours to make.
Food For Thought-
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